Inflation flat at 1% in February

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 20 Maret 2015 | 22.39


Gas prices were more than 20 per cent cheaper in February compared to the same month a year earlier.

The cost of living increased at a 1 per cent annual pace last month, unchanged from January.

Statistics Canada said Friday that gas prices continued their recent trend of dragging the overall inflation rate lower during the month, as gasoline was on average 21.8 per cent cheaper last month than it was in February of last year.

If the impact of cheap gas is stripped out, the inflation rate would have been 2.2 per cent, the data agency said.

Outside of gasoline, just about everything went up in price during the month.

The report found the higher cost for food and shelter led the upward pressure on prices. The price of meat rose 12.4 per cent compared with a year earlier, while natural gas increased 10.8 per cent.

One exception was computer and equipment prices, which were down 0.5 per cent from their level a year ago. TD Bank noted that was the slowest pace of annual price declines for these items in almost 20 years. Computer and equipment prices have fallen by an average of 12 per cent per year for the last two decades.

The rate of inflation increased in six provinces over the 12 previous months, with Ontario registering the biggest consumer price gains at 1.3 per cent. In the Atlantic provinces, meanwhile, prices actually shrank.

The inflation rate is arguably the most important economic indicator that the Bank of Canada pays attention to in setting its benchmark interest rate. The bank likes to see inflation in a range between one and three per cent. If it's outside that range for too long, the bank tends to take steps to reset the balance.

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